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FESTIVALS Belgium

Brussels Film Festival gets new lease of life

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Brussels Film Festival gets new lease of life

The latest Brussels Film Festival will run from June 23-30.

With the new director comes a change in direction: the festival has the same aim – introducing Brussels audiences to the diversity of European cinema – but the strategy is rather different. New Artistic Director Ivan Corbisier is determined to revamp the image of European cinema, which is not just “socially-themed and/or dull”, by adding touches of glamour and prestige.

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The festival is thus launching a new section, Europe of Genres, a host of stars are expected to attend, and the competition, until now devoted to debut and second works, is being opened up to established directors. A link is even being forged with the United States, with two screenings of films from the Sundance Festival.

The competition jury will present the Golden Iris Award for Best European Film and the White Iris Award for Best Debut Film. Honours also include the fourth Cineuropa Award, after those presented at Estoril, Miami and Lecce.

Five debut films will vie for the White Iris Award, including young Dutch documentary filmmaker Martijn Smits’s highly-anticipated It’s Already Summer (the only Belgian co-production in the line-up, piloted by De Productie and Tarantula Belgium).

In search of a location for his debut feature, Smits was magnetically drawn to the town of Seraing, without realising he was about to enter the cinematic territory of the Dardenne brothers. In his film, he focuses on the daily life of a struggling family who live under the same roof without really noticing each other. Faced with tragedy, they painfully re-open their eyes and rediscover love.

The programme also includes Mika Kaurismaki’s intensely explored Shakespearean-style comedy The House of Branching Love [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
; Borys Lankosz’s The Reverse [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Agata Buzek - actress
interview: Borys Lankosz
film profile
]
, which was the major winner at the Polish Eagle Awards; and the deliriously paranoid Corridor [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Johan Lundborg and Johan St…
film profile
]
, by young directorial duo Johan Lundborg and Johan Storm.

The list of films in competition is completed by Polish director Jacek Borcuch’s All That I Love [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Danyael Sugawara’s Upstream, Szabolcs Hajdu’s Bibliothèque Pascal [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Szabolcs Hajdu - director
interview: Szabolcs Hajdu
film profile
]
, György Pálfi’s I’m Not Your Friend, Giorgio Diritti’s The Man Who Will Come [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Giorgio Diritti
film profile
]
, Benjamin Heisenberg’s The Robber [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Giorgio Diritti
film profile
]
and Me Too [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Álvaro Pastor and Antonio Naharro.

Besides the competition, the festival will host five avant-premieres (including Mathieu Amalric’s latest film, On Tour [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mathieu Amalric
interview: Mathieu Amalric
film profile
]
); a panorama unveiling two new Belgian films (Frédéric Sojcher’s Hitler à Hollywood and Bernard Halut’s Miss Mouche); a national shorts competition; a cinema lesson with Belgian director Jaco Van Dormael; and the now-traditional open-air screenings.

(Translated from French)

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